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The most underplayed stars on TCM


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This is my list (and yes, it has to do with stars that worked primarily for studios whose films are not in the TCM library):

 

Women

 

1. YVONNE DE CARLO...Love her. Want to see more of her on TCM!

2. DOROTHY LAMOUR...Would like to see more of her non-Road pictures.

3. VERA RALSTON...Republic movie queen, wife of Herbert Yates. 

4. ANNA MAY WONG...Hardly ever shows up on TCM.

5. ROSEMARY CLOONEY...gosh, is she good! None of her films turn up, ever.

6. JUDY CANOVA...please, TCM, show at least one of her Republic films. They're hilarious.

7. ALICE FAYE...TCM usually only airs the ones she made with Tyrone Power. There are many more.

8. DIANE KEATON...except for ANNIE HALL, none of her work really airs. She was/is a big star.

9. MICHELINE PRESLE...great French actress who made some Hollywood films. Where are they?

10. DEANNA DURBIN...we need to see more of her films, period.

 

Men

 

1. DONALD O'CONNOR...except for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, he's hardly on TCM.

2. BELA LUGOSI..seldom airs

3. TONY CURTIS...none of his Universal films air (and there are quite a few)

4. BOBBY BREEN...RKO's child star made a batch of films, where are they?

5. JOHN TRAVOLTA...often not on TCM. How many mega hits has he had? Too many to count.

6. BURT REYNOLDS...see comment for Travolta; it applies here

7. CORNEL WILDE...we need to see more of his work, TCM. Either as an actor or director.

8. ROGER MOORE...big star, mostly off TCM's radar

9. ROY ROGERS...too many great classic western films of his they're not playing

10. CLIFF ROBERTSON...why aren't his films in frequent rotation. He was an Oscar winner.

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The twenty I listed in the OP, they are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Looking at all the Republic, Paramount and Universal titles on Amazon Prime, it's easy to see that there are literally hundreds of stars that TCM just does not play. We are talking about people like Gladys Swarthout and Sheila Ryan and Robert Paige and Duncan Renaldo (definitely stars in their day) that today's classic film viewers really know very little about, or even that they existed at all. Yes Clark Gable, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were not the only stars of the 30s, 40s and 50s.

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This is my list (and yes, it has to do with stars that worked primarily for studios whose films are not in the TCM library):

 

Women

 

1. YVONNE DE CARLO...Love her. Want to see more of her on TCM!

2. DOROTHY LAMOUR...Would like to see more of her non-Road pictures.

3. VERA RALSTON...Republic movie queen, wife of Herbert Yates. 

4. ANNA MAY WONG...Hardly ever shows up on TCM.

5. ROSEMARY CLOONEY...gosh, is she good! None of her films turn up, ever.

6. JUDY CANOVA...please, TCM, show at least one of her Republic films. They're hilarious.

7. ALICE FAYE...TCM usually only airs the ones she made with Tyrone Power. There are many more.

8. DIANE KEATON...except for ANNIE HALL, none of her work really airs. She was/is a big star.

9. MICHELINE PRESLE...great French actress who made some Hollywood films. Where are they?

10. DEANNA DURBIN...we need to see more of her films, period.

 

Men

 

1. DONALD O'CONNOR...except for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, he's hardly on TCM.

2. BELA LUGOSI..seldom airs

3. TONY CURTIS...none of his Universal films air (and there are quite a few)

4. BOBBY BREEN...RKO's child star made a batch of films, where are they?

5. JOHN TRAVOLTA...often not on TCM. How many mega hits has he had? Too many to count.

6. BURT REYNOLDS...see comment for Travolta; it applies here

7. CORNEL WILDE...we need to see more of his work, TCM. Either as an actor or director.

8. ROGER MOORE...big star, mostly off TCM's radar

9. ROY ROGERS...too many great classic western films of his they're not playing

10. CLIFF ROBERTSON...why aren't his films in frequent rotation. He was an Oscar winner.

Nice list. Two stars we won't see more of, thanks to the delicate sensibilities of the time, and I miss them:

 

Warner Oland

 

Sidney Toler

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And how about Sonja Henie?  She didn't make a lot of films, but the ones she made were very successful.  I don't recall ever seeing any of her films on TCM; but then, she was at Fox and that's probably the reason why.

But they do have budget and access to Fox films. However, they choose to show the Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable pictures instead of the Sonja Henie ones. A lot of people would enjoy an evening on TCM devoted to Ms. Henie.

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But they do have budget and access to Fox films. However, they choose to show the Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable pictures instead of the Sonja Henie ones. A lot of people would enjoy an evening on TCM devoted to Ms. Henie.

I remember when I first saw one of her movies (AMC perhaps) back when I wasn't so jaded.

 

She was, imo, very natural and refreshing. Of course, you had to like skating, but it was just a pleasant movie.

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I remember when I first saw one of her movies (AMC perhaps) back when I wasn't so jaded.

 

She was, imo, very natural and refreshing. Of course, you had to like skating, but it was just a pleasant movie.

And I think something that helps these types of films-- the character actors. When you have people Jean Hersholt, Adolphe Menjou and S.Z. Sakall providing support, it's usually a good show.

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Nice list. Two stars we won't see more of, thanks to the delicate sensibilities of the time, and I miss them:

 

Warner Oland

 

Sidney Toler

 

MOVIES-TV shows the Chan series films very often.    That is because Fox owns the rights and MOVIES-TV is associated with Fox.

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MOVIES-TV shows the Chan series films very often.    That is because Fox owns the rights and MOVIES-TV is associated with Fox.

james: I try, with MoviesTV and GetTV, but can't do it. Too gosh darned many commercials.

 

Janet: smart. I don't watch DVDs much at all anymore since I got Netflix, and cable (with the sometime exception of TCM) is a joke.

 

I have to admit, though, I finally bought Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Waiting like Pavlov's dog for it to come on was wearing thin. Even though it was nice to see Ben introduce it.

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MOVIES-TV shows the Chan series films very often.    That is because Fox owns the rights and MOVIES-TV is associated with Fox.

Yes, but they show the same three or four. Chan in Egypt, Chan in Honolulu, Dead Men Tell, and maybe one other, though I can't think of it. Chan in Monte Carlo, I believe.

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  Dorothy Lamour , Betty Hutton and Tony Curtis are notable standouts on this thread, because Comcast's ownership of pre-48 Paramount films and the Universal film library are in their hands. They go at a snails pace even when it comes to putting their films on DVD.

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  Dorothy Lamour , Betty Hutton and Tony Curtis are notable standouts on this thread, because Comcast's ownership of pre-48 Paramount films and the Universal film library are in their hands. They go at a snails pace even when it comes to putting their films on DVD.

Yes...but of course, these three stars also had hits post-48. I am sure TCM could air some of Hutton's and Lamour's Paramount films-- they did one together called AND THE ANGELS SING that would be perfect around Christmastime. 

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Yes...but of course, these three stars also had hits post-48. I am sure TCM could air some of Hutton's and Lamour's Paramount films-- they did one together called AND THE ANGELS SING that would be perfect around Christmastime. 

     Yes, Tony Curtis was coming into his own in the early 50's. He was a star in the making, but by the 50's Lamour and Hutton were in the twilight of their movie careers.

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Most Underplayed? Are you kidding me? Try this list.

 

1. Colleen Moore (Next to Nothing. Not even LILAC TIME!)

 

2. Pola Negri (Next to Nothing)

 

3. Tom Mix (Next To Nothing.)

 

4. William S. Hart (Next To Nothing.)

 

5. Billie Dove (Next to Nothing.)

 

6. Nancy Carroll (Precious Little)

 

7. Maria Montez (Almost Nothing.)

 

8. Maria Felix (Almost Nothing.)

 

9. Ken Maynard (Almost Nothing)

 

10. Jacqueline Bissett (All I ever see is Bullet, and sometimes maybe Casino Royal.)

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Most Underplayed? Are you kidding me? Try this list.

 

1. Colleen Moore (Next to Nothing. Not even LILAC TIME!)

 

2. Pola Negri (Next to Nothing)

 

3. Tom Mix (Next To Nothing.)

 

4. William S. Hart (Next To Nothing.)

 

5. Billie Dove (Next to Nothing.)

 

6. Nancy Carroll (Precious Little)

 

7. Maria Montez (Almost Nothing.)

 

8. Maria Felix (Almost Nothing.)

 

9. Ken Maynard (Almost Nothing)

 

10. Jacqueline Bissett (All I ever see is Bullet, and sometimes maybe Casino Royal.)

I agree totally--I had never heard of Maria Felix until I came across your post.  For some reason, TCM lists only 6 credits for her--I checked Wikipedia, & they list 47?!  She was a Mexican star who refused to appear in demeaning roles (Wiki's term) & was a big star in Mexico--she branched out to international films in the early 50's (she starred in Italys' most expensive production of 1951, "Messalina", & starred in a Mexican version of Camille & a female version of Faust (Faustina)--I'd love to see any of those.

 

Maria Montez--would love to see any of her Universal films.

 

Jacqueline Bissett--would love to see "The Deep" (1977) again sometime, or any of the films where she shocked critics with her acting ability.

 

I suppose rights issues prevent showings of these stars films. :(

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I suppose rights issues prevent showings of these stars films. :(

But I don't think that's a good enough excuse. If the programmers can build a respectable theme around an obscure artist, I am sure they have budget to bring in at least one or two of the films we hardly see from outside studio libraries. 

 

The Tom Mix and Ken Maynard omissions are glaring. TCM tried to do a singing cowboys SOTM a few summers ago, but it was only moderately successful. There are so many western stars they just skip over. Their idea of western movie stars-- Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott and John Wayne. That is why we see RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY and MCCLINTOCK so often, and not much else from this genre.

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